Double Fine Documentary Series

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By now there is a good chance you have heard about the Double Fine Adventure.  It’s the biggest story in the gaming press so far this year, plastered across major news sites and personal blogs around the whole web.  But it’s not just gaming news, it’s real news.  TV stations are talking about this.  The financial sector is looking at what has happened.  Literally overnight, what seemed like a modest pitch for a 400k project exploded into a multimillion dollar statement about the modern games industry.  There is the way that things have always been done, but now there is an ever growing list of new alternatives.

We're proud to announce that we've partnered with industry legend Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions for our most ambitious project to date.  "The Double Fine Adventure" is a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for Double Fine to create a new adventure game while we document the entire process from beginning to end.  To the best of our knowledge this is something that has never been done before.

A Little History

DF_Pitch

We visited Double Fine and met with Tim Schafer during our travels for the Minecraft documentary.  During our talk, Tim expressed interest in our project and how we managed to fund it independent of any major backers.  There was a definite spark in his eye that suggested he was thinking about using Kickstarter for a project as well.

Flash forward to a few months later and we find ourselves nearing the end of principal photography for the Minecraft film.  We needed to think about what would be next for us after the Minecraft film was finished, and the prospect of waiting until then seemed like a bad idea.  What if we couldn't find any new work?  We set about thinking about what we still really wanted to do, and that was make an in-depth documentary about game development.

The huge distance between ourselves and the Mojang office prevented us from being there to cover development as often as we wanted.  The Minecraft film also wasn't just about Minecraft, but also Markus and the community that celebrated the game.  We had enjoyed the time we spent with the Penny Arcade office and what that allowed us to accomplish with the series.  We wanted to do something similar for a series with a game studio, and Double Fine was at the top of a very short list.

We came to Double Fine with the desire to document them making a game.  Somehow along the way that idea turned into actually making a game to be documented.  Double Fine's other games had publishers attached, and there was no way a publisher would allow us to offer the level of transparency we wanted with the project.  The concept of developing a game in the public eye drew from what we had witnessed at Mojang; how much Markus' open communication with the fans had only aided Minecraft's success.  This project felt like the natural progression of everything we had done up to this point.

The Kickstarter pitch went through a few changes initially as we all threw ideas at the wall to see what stuck.  Looking at the Minecraft model, we knew we wanted the backers to be directly involved with the project.  We even thought about having three possible genres of game for the backers to vote on, with the winner going into full production.  Double Fine's annual "Game Jam" meeting was an influence here.  Tim Schafer then suggested it be an adventure game, and the idea made so much sense we ran with it and never looked back.

The prospect of making a new adventure game with Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert made us think we were really on to something here, something people would get excited about.  We just didn't realize how excited.  When the Kickstarter launched it hit a million dollars in less then 24 hours.  It has since climbed to over 2 million, and broken every record Kickstarter had (with the exception of first to 1 million, which went to an iPhone dock project just a few hours before).  Most funds raised, fastest rush to the goal, most project backers.  People wanted to say something about the current state of the games industry, and this project gave many of them a voice.

From Here on Out

After this project is finished with it's Kickstarter campaign all the video content to support it will be exclusive to the backers during the games development cycle.  Once the game is finished and out in the wild, we'll be doing a physical release of the content and digital download options as well.  If you're thinking about backing and haven't made the commitment yet, remember that if you miss the closing date you'll be waiting a good year before seeing any of the content from us.

To support the campaign we shot a number of videos with Tim and Ron, all of which can be found on our Youtube channel.

The original Kickstarter pitch video

The first video update from Tim to the public

A conversation between Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert about adventure games

An excerpt from the adventure games conversation